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From e-bikes to building codes: How UAE companies are joining the race to net zero – News

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Economy minister calls on organizations not to wait for government to start looking at more sustainable ways of doing business


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published: Monday, May 29, 2023 at 6:54 pm

From switching to e-bikes to equipping all buildings with efficient energy systems, several companies in the UAE are contributing in their own way to the ambitious goal of net-zero emissions by 2050. The discussion took place at an event called Road to COP28, which discussed driving collective climate action in the UAE.

Salwa al Maflahi of Aldar Properties explained how the developer invested Dh70 million to upgrade the fittings of its older properties to improve energy efficiency. “It’s one of the best investments we’ve ever made,” she said. “It results in a 20% annual reduction in water and energy emissions.”

Aldar, which has implemented green building codes since 2018, made this investment in older properties with inefficient air conditioning and water consumption mechanisms.

Hosted by Senior Advocates and the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and supported by the COP28 Presidency, the event in Dubai, ‘The Road to COP28: Driving Collective Action in the UAE’, brought together key segments of society to mobilize efforts towards an inclusive climate Progress ahead of climate summit hosted by UAE.

Likewise, delivery company Talabat says the organization is slowly switching to using e-bikes for deliveries as part of their commitment to contributing to net-zero emissions by 2050.

“We’re just getting started with e-bikes,” says Susanna Elias-Stulemeijer, the company’s vice president of communications and sustainability. “Our CEO took a test drive two weeks ago and now we have some of these bikes cruising around the Palm.”

Opening the event attended by company representatives and thought leaders, Abdulla Bin Touq, UAE Minister of Economy, called on organizations not to wait for the government to start looking at more sustainable ways of doing business. He also added that COP28 will serve as a global platform to support “collective action to combat climate change, reduce our carbon footprint, achieve sustainable and comprehensive development, and create a better future for present and future generations.”

invest in tomorrow

As discussions about climate change and sustainability take center stage, some companies are investing heavily in the industry.

DP World details how the company is implementing a climate change asset resilience program to monitor and assess the future impacts of climate change. “Climate change is in our DNA,” says the company’s Ayla Bajwa. “We set goals to achieve carbon neutrality by 2040 and net zero emissions by 2050.”

Another company investing in this is Talabat. “We’re a technology company,” Suzanne said.

“The average age of our employees is under 30, and it’s extremely important for the younger generation to be socially responsible and environmentally conscious. We’re focusing on packaging and mobility as a means of sustainability. We’ve also reduced tableware.”

Wael Ismail, vice president of communications and government affairs at PepsiCo, said the investment climate is more important than ever. “Everything we do climate-related has a significant impact across the supply chain, no matter where you look at it,” he said. “If the supply chain is not resilient and we don’t expand our agricultural footprint, once the floods hit or you run out of water, you have no business to do.”

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